With first hand experience in being a solo mother of two who has built herself back a few times, and her expertise as an advisor, Mélanie Rousseau, founder of Money Mama TO, created her company to help women feel empowered to build the future they dream of for themselves and their children.
In this edition of Advisor Spotlight, we get to know Mélanie, her company as well as get a women-first perspective on the financial industry.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town near Quebec called Plessisville.
As a child, what profession did you want to get into?
I wanted to be an accountant at one point. My uncle was one and I absolutely loved math (still do!) but little did I know that accounting is not really math…hahah
One thing I always knew is that I wanted to help people by bringing joy, laughter and ease into their lives..just didn’t know how at the time.
What inspired you to become an advisor?
I was working as a project manager in Marketing and a colleague of mine got diagnosed with breast cancer. She was in her 50s and even with her disability she could not make ends meet. The company we worked at was so amazing to do fundraising for her and match whatever we raised. I remember driving her to her Reiki treatment and she mentioned how grateful she was to have received this additional amount because these treatments were essential for her healing and mental strength going through chemo but they were not covered through her benefits.
The funny part is that I had applied for an advisor job at Freedom 55 in 2004 but decided to go another route then. A few months after she got sick and I witnessed how challenging financially it was for her, I started thinking about what I could do so it would not happen to anyone I knew and loved…I received an email from Freedom 55 that was titled: “request for interview”..took the leap and never looked back!
I could not be happier to do what I do – I absolutely love guiding people through creating a rock solid foundation where no matter what life may throw at them, their finances will remain unshook!
What do you feel is Money Mama’s greatest competitive advantage?
I would say our life experiences – Leaving home at 16 years old made us super resourceful and gave us the ability to foresee, create opportunities with obstacles and plan for a great outcome. Gone through, one divorce, another separation, two kids in between, now single parent (50% of the time) and just understands that life happens. We want to empower women to ask for help when it comes to their finances and feel worthy of building and finding their OWN financial future without comparing themselves.
What has been the main benefit of working with women advisors who specialise in helping other women?
There are so many benefits but a few would be the empathy, nurturing and the understanding that we can be in our feminin energy vs feeling that we need to be more in our masculin energy.
Between women advisors, we brainstorm ideas, we share our challenges (yes, we cry together for various reasons), celebrate our wins and uplift each other when times are a bit tougher. I am so blessed to know great women advisors who have tremendously inspired me. To name a few: Jackie Porter, Nicole Simons, & Billie-Jane Bolton-Rojo.
What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Two of the mentors I had the pleasure to have, Dave Patriache and Irv Murphy, always told me to pass it forward to other advisors because when they have the knowledge, they can help more people and so can I. I always resonated with that because to me, there is no competition in the industry, there is only competition with myself to be better and help more people each day with high integrity and a caring heart.
What are some of the trends you’re seeing? What excites you about the industry?
On the money coaching side, I am so happy to see women standing in their power and feeling more and more worthy of what they want to create for their lives. It is so fulfilling to witness and I feel so blessed to be part of their growth and awakening.
What do you think the insurance industry will look like in 10 years?
I believe it will be pretty similar – I have been in the industry for 13 years and have not seen too much of a shift besides seeing people applying for insurance online and having e-apps. I will always believe that it is best to talk to a professional when it comes to real estate, insurance, law and medical advice…. hahah!
If you were writing a book about your career, what would be the Title?
I would call it “Take the leap”. The best time is always now – as scary as it looks sometimes. In my life, every leap I took was always the best choice because I lead my life with my heart and gained so much!
What is one piece of advice you would give a young woman entering the advisory business today?
To find a mentor – it was key to my success and still is now. Every year, I hire a coach to make me grow and to make me aware of my blindspots.
What was one of the most meaningful moments of your career?
I can’t name only one. Every individual I have the chance to meet is meaningful. They either have something for me to learn or I am put into their path to help them reach the next level of their life journey. As advisors, we are so lucky to be able to impact people, families, businesses, kids so positively. We have the ability to provide a leading hand to make their finances life so much easier. No matter what life throws at them!
Mélanie’s drive to help women and her mission to support their journey to financial freedom, is a strong example of the power of a customer first approach guided by a deeper purpose.